Thursday, May 1, 2008
The Post Office: As mentioned at the bottom of the page (How to Donate), I should have had a PO Box by now for mail in donations. Well, can you believe that Redford’s Post Office doesn’t have one open slot? Not to worry though, I was informed this morning that I am on the waiting list and should have a box within two weeks. But hey, don’t let that stop you from donating; just follow the link to the Band of Parents and you’ll be all set to go!
The Stress Echo Cardiogram: For those of you not in the know, about 3 years ago I experienced what I thought to be a significant cardiac event. Well, I wasn’t’ surprised! I weighed in around 250 pounds and I had been smoking for well over 40 years (yes I started very young and was a full blown smoker by age 14). After 3 days in the hospital and after much testing it was found that I did have 2 blocked arteries; 50% each, not enough by protocol to warrant stents. Testing also revealed that I had really bad GERD, Acid Reflux. As I was being told all of this, I remembered the day I came to the hospital…I had a cigarette in the parking lot (Hey, I might be in the hospital for a day or so.) and that thought just sickened my stomach, I had had enough! I entered the hospital December 16, 2005, and that was the last day I ever smoked a cigarette. And to this day I don’t miss them one bit. Anyway, back to the stress test.
I am not sure just how long on the treadmill is considered good, but after I was prepped and given my first EKG and the ultrasound (echo?) of the heart they put me on the ol’ mill. Going and going and going, I told the EKG and Ultrasound techs that I was a runner and just started training for an ultra marathon after a 3 month layoff. (I owed Missus Gj big time since she supported me through 2 marathons last year. So, I remodeled the kitchen for my hunny). And on I went for a total of 15 minutes. That means I went through 5 - 3 minutes cycles wherein each cycle means the treadmill increases in speed and elevation. Now the tech told me that the machine maxes out in 21 minutes and that he was impressed with my 15 minutes. I told him next year if I did not max out, I get at least 18 minutes in. My doctor should have the results in about 5 to 7 days.
More: The more tonight is this: Turn the TV off, grab your hunnys hand and look them in the eye and tell them how special they are to you. Putting your needs aside for tonight, talk about anything which is important to your partner. Give of yourself to them totally for the next hour or two…you’ll be glad you did.
I’ll be right there hunny…
Monday, April 28, 2008
1. The trail was mostly a single path and if you were behind someone slower than you, you were just, well, stuck until you could get enough room to pass them on the trail.
2. The scenery was just too beautiful. Many times, I lost focus and slowed down to enjoy creation, many smaller inland lakes, streams, meadows and Really Big Hills...I cant’ wait to run the course again.
Within my Control:
1. Not conditioned for the rigors of the trail course; inexperience in trail running - my first trial race
2. Need more Hill training. Hills -heck they were mountains (not but It sounds good eh?)
3. Pacing need to have better control over my pacing
4. Better hydration. Need to hydrate more often
That’s enough. I think you get the picture. Regardless of my time, I really enjoyed the course and its demands. I can’t’ wait till next year. To get the most enjoyment, I think I’ll just have to run the Full marathon.
In the future I must remember to carry a disposable camera, least I fall and break my good one; a happening which Missus Gj would hold me in contempt I am certain. . Because of that fact, I only have a few pictures of the starting line and couple of my running buddy and me afterwards. On to the races (Did I mention the really Big Hills?)
The Trail map outlining the elevation or where the big hills beat me up.
I didn't get any pictures of the regulars-I was busy cheering them on.
An hour later it was our turn..The start went as planned. Since there were so many of us half marathoners, a staggered start was used. Since we were cold, we complained about the extra wait, but to no avail. Little did we realize that the staggered start made a whole lot of sense, especially after we saw the hills (I did mention the hills didn't?
The first few miles were quite uneventful, save for a young lady who might have hurt her ankle or maybe, worst broke a bone (we prayed not). But a good looking hiker offered to carry her out; the day was saved (hmmm.. this is mushy stuff that love stories are made of).
Then it happened, the first of many hills. Actually, there were many hills, but I only remember three of them. The first round of "Biggies" was around Mile 5 and lasted through mile 7 or so. As I approached its base, I knew I was in trouble when looking up I could not see the top. This was not too mention that we runners had come to a walk to scale this mammoth beast, one I named "The Matterhorn"
As we reached the plateau, our walking turned into a slow jog as we slowly began our descent, which only last for a minute or two, or so it seemed. And therein around mile 9, my eyes beheld and even more ugly brute....Could the gods have designed a hell more befitting us runners? Me thinkest not, since they must have thought us profane for even being in their domain. Again we were reduce to a crawl..a fate worse than just stopping for going ever so slowly one becomes clumsy..Blam. I tripped over a root of minor dimensions. Stumbling I fell forward, but recovered shortly before hitting the ground. It was sight to behold I am certain as I was told I looked like a gosling trying to take flight for the first time. Out of frustration, I named this one "Mt. McKinley" Why? I don't' know.
Miles 10 and 11 were rather like a little flat land wherein some lost time could be made up, OR so I thought! MILE 12 revealed itself to be Beelzebub for sure. The god of Hell..can it be he found us? A fate worse than death..up, up up we crawled; skinned knees and blistered hands was our sentence. But we did not quit....For all too soon like an airplane on approach we began to land, just a short tenth of a mile to go. Noticing the camera man standing to the side of the finish line, I did what any good runner would do. I straighten up , stuck my chest out and ran like a banshee on fire. I made it! I finished the run for Austin. My heart raced as I thanked the volunteers for their help; then I realized although I didn't even place, the prize was mine. I finished..Ohh the name of the last hill? Why, it's Mt Everest of course (Again I don't know why).
I really had a great time at the race, but folks you know the real reason why I ran. Double click on my picture and take a closer look at my shirt; you'll see Austin's name, one of my little buddies. I am raising funds for the Band of Parents for neuroblastoma research ..Won't you please
"SAY YES to GRANDPA JOHN" and as a minimum donate the cost of a cup of coffee today?
As Tony the Tiger would say " You'll FEEL Great" if you do.
In His Arms...
Sunday, April 27, 2008
You know that my best time for running a half marathon is 2 hours 6 minutes and 50 seconds. However, today Lord I ask that you grant me special blessings and give me the strength to run my race in sub two hours; give me the wings of an eagle and the legs of deer that I may run, no fly, with a speed hereto unknown to me and not get weary. I ask this not for me Lord, but to honor the memory of my buddy Austin Melgar
Also, Lord early this morning I heard some sad news about John Eric Bartels, Please comfort John Eric and his family and bless them with Your Peace this day.
Finally please allow all to open their eyes to see the wonder of your majesty by giving me the strength to achieve my ultimate goal in helping to find a cure for neuroblastoma.
Grant this I pray – Amen.